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Patient Educ Couns. 2015 Feb;98(2):220-5. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2014.11.010. Epub 2014 Nov 20.

Patient perceptions of proactive medication discontinuation.

Author information

1
Section of General Internal Medicine, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, USA; Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research, VA Boston Healthcare System and ENRM Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Boston and Bedford , MA, USA; Section of General Internal Medicine, Boston Medical Center, Boston, USA; Division of General Internal Medicine and Primary Care, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, USA. Electronic address: Amy.Linsky@va.gov.
2
Section of General Internal Medicine, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, USA; Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research, VA Boston Healthcare System and ENRM Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Boston and Bedford , MA, USA; Section of General Internal Medicine, Boston Medical Center, Boston, USA; Division of General Internal Medicine and Primary Care, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, USA. Electronic address: Steven.Simon2@va.gov.
3
Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research, VA Boston Healthcare System and ENRM Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Boston and Bedford , MA, USA; Department of Health Policy & Management, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, USA. Electronic address: Barbara.Bokhour@va.gov.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

While many patients prefer fewer medications, decisions about medication discontinuation involve collaboration between patients and providers. We sought to identify patient perspectives on intentional medication discontinuation in order to optimize medication use.

METHODS:

We conducted 20 interviews and two focus groups with a convenience sample of patients (22 men, 5 women; mean age 66 years) at two US Veterans Affairs Medical Centers. We queried patients' experiences with and attitudes toward taking multiple medications, preferences about taking fewer medications, and communication with their providers about stopping a medicine. Transcripts were analyzed qualitatively.

RESULTS:

Three main themes emerged to create a conceptual model of medication discontinuation from the patient perspective: (1) conflicting views of medication, encompassing the sub-themes of desire for fewer medications, adherence, and specific versus general; (2) importance of patient-provider relationships, encompassing the sub-themes of trust, relying on expertise, shared decision making, and balancing multiple providers; and (3) limited experience with medication discontinuation.

CONCLUSION:

Many patients who have a preference to take fewer medicines do not share their beliefs with providers and recall few instances of provider-initiated medication discontinuation.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS:

Strengthening patient-provider relationships and eliciting patient attitudes about taking fewer medications may enable appropriate discontinuation of unnecessary medications.

KEYWORDS:

Communication; Medication safety; Patient beliefs; Shared decision making

PMID:
25435516
DOI:
10.1016/j.pec.2014.11.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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